Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
A presumably chaste high school Rick
Today the Centers for Disease Control recommended that boys as well as girls be vaccinated against the HPV virus:
Twelve members of the committee voted in favor of the recommendation; one abstained. HPV is the number-one sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Although the vaccine has been approved for males since 2009, it hasn’t been as heavily promoted for them.
Part of the push now is because girls aren’t getting vaccinated in the numbers doctors expected.
“If the boys are also immunized, it reduces the transmission back and forth,” says Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University. By receiving the vaccine, boys will also be protected against cancers of the penis and rectum. Also, there is growing evidence of HPV causing the recent increase in head and neck cancer. (Read more: http://www.koco.com/health/29578106/detail.html#ixzz1boL873YZ)
This will be horrifying news to Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, abstinence only programs and the right wingery at large.
Santorum knows the HPV vaccine is a tool the devil uses to encourage promiscuity and pre-marital sex in our increasingly moral-less society. And it also covers off on another of his favorite topics: homosexuality. This from RH Reality Check:
This decision may turn out to be controversial, after all, not because it involves boys and sex but because it involves boys and oral and anal sex. As the New York Times points out, the burden of the disease among men “is far higher in homosexuals.” Of course, since the vaccine is most effective when given before a young person becomes sexually active it would not be possible nor would it be wise to single out young men who identify as homosexual. The Times suggests “Parents of boys face some uncomfortable realities when choosing whether to have their child vaccinated. The burden of disease in males results mostly from oral or anal sex, but vaccinating boys will also benefit female partners since cervical cancer in women results mostly from vaginal sex with infected males.”
Michele, of course, knows that the vaccine has struck young girls with mental retardation and went on national television to chirp the unfounded nonsense. Perhaps Rick Perry will be the only overjoyed member of the GOP field, being given another opportunity to cash in from big pharma.
And, abstinence only programs will be challenged to come up with new lies about Gardasil – like causing sterility in young women – to encompass boys also.
According to one Colorado blogger, an attendee of another Donahue WAIT/CRE [Colorado abstinence only program] lecture reported Donahue told the group that the HPV vaccine “will leave them sterile.” A familiar lie used by the right wing based on their belief that for young women, a potentially life saving vaccine’s most dangerous side effect is immorality and promiscuity.
It’s no surprise with all the misinformation, lies and demonization of the HPV vaccine out there that, as the article states, girls are not getting vaccinated at the rate expected. It is disgusting that the country’s leading experts – the CDC – must fight an uphill battle to protect our kids from HPV against a legion of deceitful and selfish right-wing (religious) ideologues.
Another thing about the CDC’s recommendation that will drive the right bananas is that it makes boys accountable for the sex they have. Traditionally, it is girls and women that are charged with guarding their purity, their sexual health and whether or not they said “no” loud enough.
I was wrong. It was in fact Tony Perkins whose head exploded first: